Swoop Cords and Swoop Loops

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Swoop cords and swoop loops –what in the how?

Another performance tool, these swoop loops were invented to give more power and control to the skydiver.

So if you’ve been needing a little “boost” in your performance, check this out.

Disciplines and purpose:

  • RW (belly-to-earth position), when engaged they create a temporary wing under the armpit increasing drag and decreasing downward speed.
  • Camera flying, when engaged they give more control with the area of wing that is closest to the wrist.


How to wear them:Exhibit A and B

There are two styles of loops that can be adjusted -pre flight- to either position, by sliding the loop down the cord.

  1. Around the thumb [Exhibit A]
  2. Around the entire hand [Exhibit B]

It is the user’s preference, but the most common way to wear the swoop loops is over the entire hand.

The 3 attachment points:

  1. Jumpsuits: the swoop cord attaches to the waist, creating a temporary wing in
    the armpit. 

    Image 3_attachment point 1_waist
  2. Jumpsuits: the swoop cord attaches to the hips*, creating a slightly larger temporary wing that reaches further down from the armpit.
    Image 4_attachment point 2_hips 
  3. Camera wings: the swoop cord attaches to the point inside the arm seam that matches where the wing attaches on the outside of the arm seam. 

Image 5_attachment point 3_wing

*the swoop cord itself doesn’t attach to the hip, but runs through a ring that is attached to the hip. See below: continuous swoop cords.

How to use the swoop cords


When the arms are in the “neutral ” position the swoop cords are disengaged.
Image 6_neutral position

When the arms are extended to “cup air” the swoop cords are extended and engaged.  This pulls the jumpsuit away from the armpit, creating a temporary wing and generating lift.

Image 7_cupping engaged

Once they have achieved their desired “level” the pilot can go back into the “neutral arm” position.

Camera wings:

  1. Extending the hands tightens the seam and engages the wings, generating lift.
  2. The wing tension can be relaxed by bringing the hands toward the body.

Anything else I should know about swoop cords?

DO – follow this mantra “swoop cords are the last things on and first things off”

Meaning: put them OVER your gloves and altimeter so that they are easily removable in a quick-response scenario.

DON’T – put them on underneath your gloves or anything wrist-mounted.

What if I get swoop cords and decide I don’t need them?

They’re easily removable by untying them at the attachment points.

I’m extending my arms but the swoop cords aren’t tight enough.

How to tighten the swoop cords:

1. Ask a friend to help.

2. Put the suit or jacket on but leave the front unzipped.

3. Working on one side at a time, ask your friend to untie the swoop cord at the attachment point, but hold onto the swoop cord so it doesn’t slip out of the loop.

4. Simulate the desired “cupping air” position [Exhibit B]

5. Have your friend pull the excess swoop cord until it is taut, and then tie it off.

6. Repeat for the other side.

I love the swoop cords but I need more wing!

Continuous Swoop Cords vs. regular Swoop Cords

Continuous swoop cords are different than regular swoop cords are different than regular swoop cords in that it is one long continuous cord that reaches from one hand to the other. It allows the wearer to reach farther with one arm by simultaneously bringing the other arm into the body. [Image 8]

Regular swoop cords are fixed and independent to one another.

Image 8_continuous

Swoop cords are fixed and independent to one another.

Which type of swoop cord is the most popular?

It depends on the person’s fall-rate. Anyone can use the regular swoop cords, but only the ones that need the extra wings should use the continuous swoop cords.

Okay, I’m ready. How do I order swoop cords?

Swoop cords are located on the following order forms: